For many years I have made a long series of visits to Morocco as medical adviser King Hassan II, his family and court. In
March, 1975, the King's physician, acquainted with publications from our laboratory, had advised him to call upon
me. His Majesty thereupon summoned the American ambassador and demanded that he produce this physician at the court within
three days. The latter, then President of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences -- but already destined
to become the eleventh director of the National Institutes of Health -- yielded to the prayers of the Duty officer of the
North African desk at State, and agreed to meet the deadline. Since then, I have become privy to many intimate details of
the court. Perhaps my most important contribution has been to introduce the best specialists and consultants in the united
States into an
exclusively French retinue which attended the King before I came to consult.
My myriad, sometimes incredible experiences in the court, the deep friendship I have with a remarkable man, one of a dwindling
few to play the role of an absolute monarch, and my strong attachments to a land and its people, with their singular
admirable qualities, have been a remarkable adventure, counterpoised against the rest of my career. Experiences have been
recorded in notes scrawled on hotel stationery, notebooks from Swiss stationers and many other repositories. These
constitute a record, not yet edited or even re-read, and still accumulating. Someday, perhaps I will be able to extract the
flavor of them for publication. Alas, their most precious substance, the medical information contained here, must remain
privileged, closed away in the diary's dozen-and-a-half leather binders with their exquisite design, made for me in Fez.
Some of the most pleasurable times have occurred after I was made a member of the Academic du Royaume du Maroc founded by
the King. In addition to its 30 members among the Moroccan intelligentsia, there are 30 associated (foreign) members, among
whom there have been a few Americans, beginning with Henry
Kissinger and Neil Armstrong. Seances are held semi-annually, during which members of the Academic francaise, the House of
Lords, imams from Tunisia, retired presidents, justices, generals and professors exchange discourse, usually in Arabic or
French -- with English translation. One result is that I now nightly read
an hour of French for relaxation.